That is the stark warning from a regional VAT expert just three weeks after the end of the transition period – with evidence already emerging that some businesses have chosen to pause importing and/or exporting until the fog has cleared.
The potential requirement for exporters to register for VAT in each individual EU country they trade with, the removal of Low Value Consignment Relief, and stringent rules of origin requirements are all causing major problems for East Anglian businesses which import from or export to the EU, according to Rob Geary, VAT consultant at leading local chartered accountants Lovewell Blake.
And if companies opt to delay trading with the EU or stop altogether, this could have a big impact on the region’s ability to fightback after the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is already some evidence that some businesses are simply abandoning trade with the EU because they view the new VAT rules as simply too complex and too bureaucratic to be worth bothering with,” said Mr Geary.
“These new rules are here to stay, so we need to be supporting East Anglian businesses to deal with them so that they can still successfully import from and export to the EU, which is our biggest overseas market.”